The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increased need for homecare, preventative treatments, early diagnosis, reducing patient recovery times and improving outcomes, as well as a growing importance in technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G and digitalisation. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Healthcare: Drug delivery device security.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

200+ innovations will shape the healthcare industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the healthcare industry using innovation intensity models built on over 443,000 patents, there are 200+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, smart helmets, body temperature sensors, and software as a medical device (SaMD) are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart balloon catheters, point-of-care molecular diagnostics, and automated immunoassay analysers are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are smart contact lenses and GPS integrated fitness monitors, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the healthcare industry

Drug delivery device security is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Medical devices are becoming more connected to the Internet, hospital networks, and other pieces of medical equipment to deliver features that enhance healthcare and increase doctors' ability to treat patients. These parallels increase the possibility of cybersecurity issues. Similar to other computer systems, medical equipment has security flaws that could endanger its use and safety.

The employment of techniques and technologies to stop hackers from getting access to medication delivery systems and the data they produce is known as drug delivery device security.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of drug delivery device security.

Key players in drug delivery device security – a disruptive innovation in the healthcare industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to drug delivery device security

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Johnson & Johnson 97 Unlock company profile
DEKA Research and Development 69 Unlock company profile
adidas 56 Unlock company profile
DexCom 46 Unlock company profile
Fresenius & Co 45 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 42 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 31 Unlock company profile
VSP Vision 31 Unlock company profile
Technikka Conexion 31 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 14 Unlock company profile
Pear Therapeutics 12 Unlock company profile
DNAnudge 11 Unlock company profile
POPS! Diabetes Care 8 Unlock company profile
CMR Surgical 7 Unlock company profile
ICU Medical 6 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 6 Unlock company profile
Prevayl 6 Unlock company profile
PharmaSecure 6 Unlock company profile
SoftBank Group 6 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 6 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Surgicalfety Technologies 6 Unlock company profile
West Affum Holdings 5 Unlock company profile
Loewenstein Medical Technology 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Johnson & Johnson is the leading patent filer in the drug delivery device security market. Some other leading patent filers include DEKA Research and Development and Adidas.

In terms of application diversity, Johnson & Johnson leads the pack, followed by VSP Vision and Technikka Conexion. With regards to geographic reach, DEKA Research and Development leads, followed by DNAnudge and Johnson & Johnson.

It is difficult to eliminate threats and vulnerabilities, especially lowering cybersecurity risks. Collaboration between manufacturers, hospitals, and facilities is required to lower cybersecurity issues due to the growing complexity of the healthcare industry.

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Healthcare.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.